Layoff policy under review

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The Richmond County school board is expected to review its "reduction in force" policy for the first time in nearly 20 years, a sign of how dire its finances are projected to be in the coming budget cycle.

The policy, adopted in 1982, sets out procedures for laying off certified employees and the order in which those employees are to be dismissed. Members want to review the policy as preparation for a worst-case scenario.

"We all know that things are going to be bad, but to what degree I don't think anybody knows," said Venus Cain, the chairwoman of the board's human resources committee. "My prayer is that we don't have to lay anybody off." The board won't know its exact financial situation until the General Assembly approves the budget, Mrs. Cain said.

Jack Padgett, the board's legislative liaison, said next fiscal year's budget shortfall could exceed $11 million.

"The whole idea is that we're going to make the cuts somewhere, and I think we're making cuts anywhere we can," he said.

How likely is a reduction in force?

"Personally, I don't see how it can't happen," Mr. Padgett said. "Actual layoffs, I don't know. That certainly is a possibility."

Rightsizing should reap substantial savings, but the process is long and the savings won't immediately be realized, he said. There have also been savings from leaving senior administrative positions vacant.

Board member Joe Scott was an assistant principal at Laney High School in the early 1980s when the board last had a reduction.

"It was a terrible time," he recalled. "People were very upset. They were worried. They weren't sure if they were going to have a job."

"We just need to look at all of our options as we go through the budget process," school board member Helen Minchew said. "Yeah, I think it is dire."

The board last reviewed its reduction policy in 1990. It is expected to be discussed when the board meets for a retreat at noon Feb. 25. The meeting is open to the public.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

HEAVY LAYOFFS SEEN BEFORE

In 1983, 70 teachers were told their contracts would not be renewed, though 37 were able to retain their jobs through attrition, according to Augusta Chronicle reports. Also affected by the budget cuts were 146 physical education teachers, assistant principals, lead teachers, guidance counselors and others who had their jobs declared as surplus.

The school board also reassigned many high school coaches, placing them in teaching positions in elementary and middle schools.

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DAMY46
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DAMY46 02/07/09 - 07:21 am
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The RCBOE has too many folks

The RCBOE has too many folks on the payroll..(over 5,000)

They need to:

1..Implement a hiring freeze.
2..Look at a 'buy out' program for employees, (with over 25 years of service).
3..Review employee records and fire the 'none producers'.
4..Get rid of the riff raft and the dead weight.

my 2 cents

Donald

BakersfieldCityLimits
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BakersfieldCityLimits 02/07/09 - 11:20 am
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Never going to happen. The

Never going to happen. The BOE will never lay of a soul, and it's employees are as safe as a cow walking down the street in Dehli, or a pig in Kuwait.

iletuknow
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iletuknow 02/07/09 - 06:11 pm
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Enomorous amounts of dead

Enomorous amounts of dead wood to cull.

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 02/07/09 - 06:17 pm
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Are Larry and Pete Fletcher

Are Larry and Pete Fletcher still charging the RCBOE when they talk to board members on the phone? How much are the brothers Fletcher charging Richmond County taxpayers to play judges at tribunal hearings? How much did the RCBOE pay the Fletcher firm last fiscal year in legal fees?

disssman
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disssman 02/07/09 - 08:08 pm
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Maybe they should not hace

Maybe they should not hace bought the most expensive busses. That would have paid a couple of salaries. I wonder if Beddens spokesperson is first or last to go? I really don't trust them to go through a budget process being led by a superintendent that recently proved he couldn't add simple figures.

disssman
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disssman 02/07/09 - 08:10 pm
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I almost forgot, if it comes

I almost forgot, if it comes down to a math teacher or a football coach, who do you think will have to go?

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 02/11/09 - 09:30 am
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again i say why not suspend

again i say why not suspend all athletic programs of schools that don't graduate 65-75% of their senior class and do not meet ayp...but i guess that sounds too much like common sense....can anyone tell where in the state/federal constitutions is there a right that schools must field/fund athletic programs......

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